Baja July 2015

I decided to take a short motorcycle trip south for the 4th of July 5-day weekend.

Not quite sure where to go, I headed south down HWY 1, toward LA. Once you get South of Monterey, south of Big Sur, the scenery is amazing! I’m going to have to take a car trip between Monterey and Morrow Bay some day, so it’s easier to stop and take pictures. I managed to get a few:


Then, I headed into LA. Realizing I had SPG points (Starwood hotels) from an AMEX offer I hadn’t used yet, I booked a night at the SLS in Beverly Hills for free 🙂

And it’s exactly as you’d expect – people were one of two groups: anorexic skimpy-clothes, or rappers and their crew partying. But a damn nice hotel, with luckily a great sunset that evening!


In the morning I headed south into Mexico. Side note: I was surprised how non-crappy Tijuana was – looked like any other city, aside from the areas walking distance from the border crossing that sold mostly drugs and/or women. I continued south to Ensenada (about 150 miles?) and found a hotel.

When I asked the hotel staff where to find a sport fishing trip, they replied, “here!” I was booked on a 4-hour trip leaving at 6am tomorrow with shuttle service from the hotel. Great!

Except it turned out to be an 8-hour trip, and I didn’t pack a lunch or sunscreen 🙁

No luck with yellowtail, but every time we started bottom fishing, we pulled up tons of fish – I caught over 20. Mostly scorpion fish, but a few red snapper, lingcod, sheepshead, etc.

I finally returned to the hotel at 3pm, tired, hungry, and sunburnt, only to find out they were booked for the night. I had planned to leave at noon, but hoped to stay another night after the long fishing trip. Well shit, if I have to pack up and find another hotel, I may as well find a different town to stay in.

North, to Rosarito, MX, I found a hotel on the beach and settled in. Note: there are no beach hotels in Ensenada, for whatever reason.

I wandered around, ate street food, got annoyed with all the San Diego partiers, and turned in early so I could wake early.

The ATVs in the picture below were blasting through town, riding wheelies and being loud. Cops didn’t seem to care, so I followed their lead and rode quite a few wheelies on my way out of town in the morning 🙂

In the morning, I headed for the border, not sure where to go next. Normally getting back into the US is easy for me, given that I have Global Entry. I was led to believe that I have Sentri access, and could use those super-fast lanes to get through the border. I do have access, but it turns out you must register vehicles before using it.

So I was referred to secondary screening and told I’d be given a warning (and next time lose Global Entry). Around 20 minutes later the screening officer listened to my story and said, “Oh, you have Global Entry, but didn’t know… yeah-ok, whatever. I’m not giving you a warning. Welcome home; have fun.”

I headed up to Pismo Beach (on the 4th of July) hoping to get lucky and find a hotel. People book beachfront hotels YEARS in advance for the 4th weekend. The second hotel I stopped at just had a cancellation. The manager was talking to a family of 6 people in the parking lot, telling them he couldn’t rent the last room to them because its max capacity was 4 people. As soon as he walked away, I said, “how much? Actually, I don’t care that room is mine.” 🙂

They even offered to reserve it for me for next year, if I wanted. Tempting, but nah.. I don’t want to be locked in to doing the same thing next year.

Anyway, here are some beach pictures… I was waiting for nearly 3 hours in my spot, for the sun to drop and fireworks to start.


And the fireworks! Sadly, the fog rolled in and the smoke from the fireworks was also blown toward the crowd. So I don’t have any super-clean firework shots, but the fog created some interesting effects. I shot most of these at f/8 and 2-10s exposures.

That was it! I headed home the next day.

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